Victorian State Championships 2003

What an absolutely suberb autumn day! Fine and sunny, the lightest of breezes and temperatures in the low 20's. April 20th provided sensational weather for team racing at Knox on 'Super Sunday'.


Jim Ray pits his very quick VoodooNine teams fronted. An excellent roll up when you consider the Nats had only 3 more entries. As usual, practice was underway as soon as the Combined Speed boys had finished their event and the familiar aroma of diesel fuel was soon wafting through the air.

Someone said the air was not fast today. Perhaps they were right, as no one managed to break 3.30, although a few teams were knocking on the door.

Over again from England, F2C whiz Bernie Langworth saw a great opportunity to have some fun. So he team up with a former countryman, Harry Bailey. A motor problem caused a DNF on lap 58 in the first round. A replacement saw them just dip under 4 minutes. Would have been a top time if they were back flying in the early nineties...

The brothers Hunting recorded two fast and consistent times with their Voodoo 1's. A best of 3.39.40 was their fastest for quite a while. Make no mistake, the Dream Team are back in business. Now using a MARZ engine, they are looking forward to returning to their glory days of team race domination.

Murray Wilson won 1/2A combatMurray Wilson's flying was full of enthusiasm after he knocked off Dad to win 1/2 A Combat earlier in the day. With Rob Fitzgerald whacking the 7 x 6 prop on the old Van Meurs Alien, they looked a good chance to qualify. Despite a broken wing, a best time of 3.53 went down on C.D. Alan Lumsden's notepad.

NSW's John Nolan had FAI Speed champ Hugh Simons flying for him. The dark red and white Voodoo 5's C.S Ollie was in need of a few extra revs and they had to be content with a couple of 4.09's.

Graeme Wilson and Mark Ellins were always going be hard to beat. These two are fine competitors and always get the most out of their gear. The Voodoo 5 had a modified Ollie that wants to start backwards. So to get it to start forward, Mark has to whack the prop backwards from the bottom instead of the top! Takes some getting used to... A best time of 3.35.40 gave them third spot in the final.

Geoff and Grant Potter were always going to give this race a shake if they could coax a decent setting from the C.S. Ollie and Voodoo 5.. Didn't happen this time, but no doubt they plan to make amends at the NSW State C/L Champs on June 7. 8 & 9.

No doubt the big surprise of the meet was the scintillating form of the Cosmic Rays.

Glenys must have given the boys extra Wheeties for breakfast as they performed at their very best, returning a FTD 3.32.59. It was first choice for the final for Jim and Colin.

Gavin Knight and Ray Harvey suffered from overheating problems and failed to record a time, their motor going hard in both heats around the 25-30 lap mark. Their model was a Gengangren with a Russian Ollie and 7 x 7 APC. Sounds as if Murphy may have been hanging around these guys.

Keith Baddock and John Hallowell had the Nats winning Voodoo 1 in good form and rolled off a 3.34 in the first round, good enough for 2nd choice in the final.

Despite a strong interstate presence, it was to be an all Victorian final. Perhaps if Andy Kerr could have made it (his pilot Richard Justic was there) along with Stan Pilgrim, Peter Camps and Qld's Mark McDermott, it may have been a different story.

At the starter's command, all teams were quickly away. It was a very close tussle for 3/4 of the race. All were evenly matched for speed and laps. Wilson / Ellins were very quick in the pits and were picking up precious seconds. It was fairly tough out there in the middle, with all pilots trying hard to get themselves in a position where they were not being held up.

Then all hell seemingly broke loose. The Hallowell / Baddock Voodoo broke the single strand down line on the loop at the handle. The resulting consecutive inside loops caused chaos in the centre! Perhaps it was Willow's vast combat experience that allowed him to keep out of trouble... he emerged unscathed. Unfortunately Colin got caught up in the mayhem and that was the end of the Cosmic's chances. The only good thing was that Keith's lovely white racer was virtually unmarked after John's aerobatics. Even the prop survived! Next time it'll be stranded lines. They've got to be safer. Lucky it wasn't the up line that broke... the Voodoo would have dived straight into the Knox turf. So Graeme's smart landings and Mellin's quick stops were rewarded with yet another Vintage A win in the good time of 7.19.34.

Results were;

1. Wilson / Ellins 3.41,82 3.35.40 7.19.34

2 Ray / Ray 3.36.96 3.32.59 9.31.78

3. Hallowell / Baddock 3.34.00 DNS DNF 130

4. Hunting / Hunting 3.40.69 3.39.40

5. Wilson / Fitzgerald 4.31.44 3.53.78

6. Langworth / Bailey DNF 58 3.56.24

7. Simons / Nolan 4.09.53 4.09.78

8. Potter / Potter 5.18.00 DNF 25

9. Knight / Harvey DNF 25 DNF 32



The perfect State Champs weather continued into late afternoon for Classic B Team Race.

Eight teams entered, the same number as the last Albury Nationals. With many more models being built around the country, this class of racing is growing fast.

When practice was under way, it was immediately apparent that the bar for Classic B performance has been raised a notch or two... Geoff and Grant Potter have thrown their hat into the ring. Their super fast Thunder Tiger 25 and 'Crescendo' were making the locals sit up and take notice. We reckoned that Mark McDermott's Aussie heat record of 3.06.94 was under serious threat. Using a big venturi ,a huge 7 x 9 prop and the right amount of nitro, they showed amazing airspeed with plenty of laps. However, the new set-up still had some gremlins on board and these little blighters messed with the electrical system in round two, giving Geoff and Grant no chance to beat their first round time of 3.29.

Fellow interstaters Gavin Knight and Ray Harvey left their good form across the border, failing to post a time with the OS 25 'Crescendo'. Hugh Simons had charge of the handle of John Nolan's beautiful dark red 'Dalesman' LA 25's seems to need a fair bit of running before they really unwind, and this motor seems no exception. A couple of ground handling problems spoilt the day. However, the potential to make its mark in future events is obvious.

Harry Bailey and Peter Roberts have put in a lot of work with the OS 25 and vee tailed 'Backtrack' since Albury. They would be disappointed with a troubled first round and a blown plug in the second. It is extremely rare to blow a plug in Classic B. There's no doubt it will all come together very soon and in a very big way for Harry and Peter. Peter is building a 'Kanga' at the moment. This racer used to be flown by Tony Farnan and was one of the best looking models of the early sixties era in Australia. It'll be superb, no risk!

Jim and Colin Ray were campaigning a 'Crescendo' at this meet. With an LA 25 up front, this set up was really rocketing. A new Victorian heat record was in the hands of the Cosmics after a stunning first round 3.10.94. Sensibly, they elected to sit on that time.

Keith Baddock with the Flying Purple People EaterKeith Baddock and John Hallowell had the familiar OS 25FP and 'Flying Purple People Eater' at the field. Although the motor is now a fraction loose for good re-starts, the airspeed is still there. A best time of 3.18.35 went on CD Alan Lumsden scoresheet.

Graeme Wilson and Mark Ellins are getting better and better with the 'Double Dice' and OS 25 FP combination. Although not yet as speedy in the air as some of the others, they make up for it with F2C style stops... smart landings and super quick starts. A 3.15.62 gave this team second choice in the final.

The Dream Team are getting closer and closer to the necessary pace for Classic. They have been slowing improving their racer. Two consistent times in the 3.30's with their Thunder Tiger 25 were full of promise. It's just a matter of time before John and Ken Hunting return to the winners list.

Time for the final. Could it be a repeat of the 2001 final when only a few hundredths of a second separated the Cosmics and John and Keith? At the shout of GO, all got a good start. There was nothing between the 'Crescendo' and 'FPPE' in speed. Both these models showed an airspeed advantage over the 'Double Dice'. It was 2 FP's against an LA.

All models were had the required 47 lap range. There was only going to be seconds in it either way. The PPE had a slow first stop, so Keith changed the start technique at the second and BINGO! First flick... Robyn couldn't get the battery lead out quick enough! The Rays were really honking... and getting quick stops. They would have been slightly in front at this stage. However, Jim did something that he now lives to regret. He fiddled when he shouldn't have. Just riching the needle a click was enough to drop a couple of laps and cause a glide from laps 138 to 140. And that was enough for the F.P.P.E. to sail past. Otherwise it could well have been another virtual dead heat! Graeme and Mark were only 10 seconds back in third place. The Victorian Classic B final was another classic team race.

Results were;

1. Hallowell / Baddock 3.18.35 DNF45 6.25.56

2. Ray / Ray 3.10.94 DNS 6.28.09

3. Wilson / Ellins 3.15.62 DNS 6.38.00

4. Potter / Potter 3.29.78 DNS

5. Hunting / Hunting 4.22.69 3.54.82

6. Bailey / Roberts 5.15.69 DNF 45

6. Simons / Nolan DNF 39 DNF 40

8. Knight / Harvey DNF DNS


John Hallowell,

VH 1984.

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